How the 2020 NFL Season could come together

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PARAM

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I don't see how they're going to get away with playing the season under these conditions. First off, if you listen to the scientists and doctors, players will have to be tested often. 67 players (including PS), 25 coaches, a half dozen front office people totals 88 times 32 teams is over 2800 tests a pop. 17 weeks is 47872 tests. And if they do that 3 times a week each, that's 143,616 tests. How about 5 times a week? Almost a quarter of a million tests. There are members of the American public who can't get a test unless they're showing symptoms. How will that fly? And that's just the NFL. How about MLB? Of course I'm all for pulling this off if they can make enough tests for professional sports AND the public. But we know that probably ain't gonna happen at the rate they're moving right now.
 

den-the-coach

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But we know that probably ain't gonna happen at the rate they're moving right now.
Not sure if they can keep testing them on a weekly basis....They can test everybody to begin the season and then check vitals and if temperatures rise or other factors, test again. Right now if you have a procedure at the hospital's they take your temperature as soon as you walk in, I believe they could follow that protocol, but again, I don't believe the season won't be jeopardized and what happens if all of the sudden in the middle of the season one of the players test positive, let alone, somebody like Patrick Mahomes.
 

Psycho_X

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I’m sorry but are we living in a fucking movie right now? Holy shit, thanks a lot China. We will get through this but my god how can a country be so negligent? This has ruined everything for everyone.
Don’t act like you’ve never wanted to eat a raw bat before.
 
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CGI_Ram

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REPORT: NFL DISCUSSING CANCELING FIRST WEEK OF PRESEASON GAMES

The NFL is slowly taking steps toward a return to normalcy. After conditionally allowing teams to reopen their facilities in May, NFL coaches are slowly starting to return to their offices in preparation for the upcoming season. However, one giant hurdle remains that is already causing the NFL to discuss alternatives to its schedule.

Facing a reality that players might not be allowed to return to their team until training camp in July, the NFL is reportedly contemplating a significant change to the football schedule.

NFL could cancel the first week of 2020 preseason games

The league already anticipates its teams will not be able to hold minicamp this year, which typically starts in the middle of June. Now with the NFL still without a timetable for players to return to team facilities this summer and the NFL Players Association seeking to keep players from reporting for training camp early, the NFL is discussing eliminating some preseason games.

Specifically, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, league officials have considered wiping out the first week of preseason games. The league’s annual Hall of Fame Game, scheduled to be played on Aug. 8 between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, would likely be one of the games eliminated.

If players, especially veterans that normally report later to training camp, need extra time to prepare due to a lack of in-person team activities, eliminating preseason games makes sense. The NFL could wipe out the entire first week of the full preseason schedule, which would lead to the first game being played on Aug. 20.

Notably, such a move could set a precedent for the future. The NFL has the ability to expand to a 17-game schedule starting with the 2021 regular season and that would likely come with a move from four to three preseason games. Eliminating the first week of action this year could serve as a trial run for teams.

This would still be an extreme move by the NFL’s standards. However, if the additional week of practices helps teams make up for lost time and improves the product, it might be worth it for everyone.
 
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CGI_Ram

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Starting the NFL Season in October Would Be Smart

While the NBA and NHL are ready to resume next month and MLB remains locked in a financial battle with the MLBPA to start their season, the NFL is only just starting to begin their offseason activities. Coaches were allowed back into team buildings last weekend for the first time since pre-COVID-19 and details are emerging about how the league plans to allow for workout programs leading up to training camp.

View: https://twitter.com/jjones9/status/1270016041716977665?s=21


Football is still three months away from starting to play games that matter. With that benefit of time, the league hasn't been forced into making any tough decisions about contingency plans for the regular season if there isn't a safe way to put on games without a vaccine of some type. A lot can change in three months, and the NFL may very well get their wish and be able to continue with business as usual. The biggest change might just be a lack of fans in the stands.

It would, however, be naive to assume that will be the case. We haven't heard much about what the NFL's contingency plan might be in a worst-case scenario that suggests it will be impossible to safely put on professional football games by September. In his Monday Morning QB column, Albert Breer noted there are some teams who would support pushing the season start back to October:

Moving the season back to an October start is one option that I know some teams support—it’d allow for the NFL to observe how other leagues start back up, watch them do things right and wrong, and buy more time for all this stuff—but the league office hasn’t been receptive at all to the idea at this point. Changing the dates of the season would have to be negotiated with the union, too. That said, there’s flexibility to move the Super Bowl if needed, which creates that option.

The league wouldn't do something like this until they absolutely had to-- but looking at the current state of affairs in the big picture, moving back the season would be the best decision to make as soon as possible. Pushing the start date back would be quite disappointing from the fan perspective, and nobody wants it to happen.

But a later start is a better route than doing whatever possible to start everything on time and then figuring it out from there. It stands to reason that the longer they wait to start games, the safer and simpler it will be to conduct them without putting hundreds of people at risk.

NFL teams may end up needing that extra time, too. If other coronavirus restrictions limit training camp and it starts later than usual, the injury risk for players is heightened. They'll need time to get their bodies ready for the brutal 60 minutes each week brings. Even the most desperate of fans would agree it's better to give them the required prep time than risk an onslaught of injuries.

Finally, and most pertinent to NFL operations, pushing the season back to October is the simplest contingency plan. Breer notes the ability to move around the Super Bowl helps with flexibility. But that should be the break-in-case-of-emergency option, because if the season starts and enough goes wrong that the league decides it needs to move the Super Bowl to create extra weeks, it was a mistake to start the season in the first place. It's difficult to envision exactly what kind of scenario would come to fruition where moving the Super Bowl would actually be helpful (enough players test positive that teams need extra bye weeks to keep everyone healthy? The second wave hits hard enough that traveling from city to city isn't viable?) but none of them are good.

Looking at the big picture, moving the Super Bowl seems as close to a doomsday proposition as the NFL could have outside of outright cancellation. Starting the season in October would make September feel that much longer, but consider the alternatives apparently in place right now: either everything goes perfectly and the NFL doesn't have to do a thing, or everything goes wrong and the league starts by moving the Super Bowl and going from there. Moving the start date doesn't guarantee the former or prevent the latter, but as things currently stand, it's the only decision to make.
 
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oldnotdead

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I think the NFL and perhaps other sports are going to look at the data coming out of the USN and their carriers. They have found that there is a huge percentage of the crew infected but asymptomatic and that when it reaches a certain level, they become pretty much non-infectious, i.e. the whole "herd immunity" syndrome. If they follow that pattern then all teams, once they come together stay together under tight supervision and no-one, goes home or out except for the end of offseason cuts. This will be hard on families but it's not like they won't have video chat available to their loved ones.

As teams drop out of contention at the end of the season, those not in the playoffs are tested before being sent on their way. I can see how it simply comes down to the players signing waivers. What would change in that scenario is the makeup of the PS. It would become a positional reserve more than a developmental squad, i.e. basically an expansion of the active roster. It is used as a positional reserve to a certain extent now but to a much lesser extent. I think by the start of next year fan attendance might be allowed especially if they can show say a vaccination card if a vaccine is developed and released for use. When it is allowed IMO every game will sell out even the damn Chargers.

I think the financial impact of this crisis will be substantial but not completely catastrophic. Their TV rating should be off the charts. Team ownership for the most part is comprised of owners with incomes outside of the NFL. However, for owners like the Spanos family where the team is the primary employer and source for almost the entire family, it could be enough to make them insolvent because you know they aren't going to take less themselves and they already have a mountain of debt.

I just hope I have my home by then. I hate AZ TV.
 

TomMack

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How is this season going to happen?
Zeke Elliot tested positive for the coronavirus and they think many more will test positive. Unless they just completely throw caution to the wind I don’t see it happening for a while.
i sure hope I’m wrong about that.
 

CGI_Ram

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NFLPA provides updates on precautions and preparations for the 2020 NFL season

The NFLPA, which has had an internal task force of scientists investigating the COVID-19 pandemic since early March, held a conference call with player agents today. The focus of the call was regarding preparations and procedures for the upcoming 2020 NFL season.

There were several major topics that were covered, including where the league and NFLPA currently stand in regards to the current public health crisis and the league’s plans for returning to play. Here is a full recap of the call with my final observations and what it means moving forward.

No mini-camps through the end of June

One of the most immediate updates is regarding mini-camps through the end of June. As expected, those have been canceled. A memo explaining this will soon be going out to players. Additionally, they will tell the players that protocols for how to proceed will be developed in the next 30 days.

NFLPA preparing for salary cap reduction in 2021

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) includes a clause on good faith negotiations for cancellations (games) and how it would impact a loss of income/revenue. This includes how it would impact the salary cap in 2021.

The NFLPA states that a season without fans would be a $3-plus billion loss of revenue, which would impact the salary cap next season. Because of this possibility, the NFLPA is preparing for a potential drop in the 2021 salary cap due to a loss of revenue from the 2020 season.

Concerns about players with pre-existing conditions

One major concern and topic of conversation centered on players who may have pre-existing conditions and are more vulnerable to the effects of contracting COVID-19. If a player in such a situation is unable to return to football in 2020, what will be the ramifications be for that player?

Because of this, there is a concern about protecting the compensation and contracts of players who are unable to return to a team facility and play in 2020 due to a pre-existing condition.

Veteran free agents prohibited from signing with teams?

Player physicals remain a major issue. Some teams disallow players getting physicals at the office of a team doctor and mandate the team doctor must perform said physical on players at the team facility. This is not a broad-brush rule, rather a team by team mandate.

On a related note, there is serious concern about existing free agents and their inability to work out for teams, participate in mini-camps, and take physicals. The bottom line is there is no fix for veterans still on the market. In fact, teams are currently prohibited from bringing in free agent players to examine them or sign them to a contract.

And when players are finally able to sign contracts? The NFLPA is looking hard at digitally signing them to minimize face-to-face contact.

What will testing and precautions look like?

The NFLPA is looking at risk factors seriously. Just because NFL players are conditioned athletes does not exclude them from being potentially harmed by COVID-19.

As such, the goal is fitting football into the virus, not vice versa. One part of this includes the development of face shields for players to wear as a way to stop the transmission of the virus.

The NFLPA is also involved in a joint task force with the league for both viral and antibody testing. They are expecting a 90% chance of a legitimate saliva test for the virus by the time training camps open.

The plan as of now is to have everyone (players, coaches, staff) be tested once they return to team facilities – even if they were tested a day before they traveled to a team facility. There is an expectation that everyone will be tested every three days.

Roster sizes, contingency plans, and more

There is a thought from many in the NFLPA on expanding camp rosters to 95 players and delaying cut down dates. It’s a double-edged sword, though. While it would be favorable from a football point of view, bringing in more players to a team facility and having 95 players on the field at one time is a greater risk for COVID-19 transmission.

Speaking of COVID-19 transmission – there are no definitive answers as to contingency plans if a state shuts down in the middle of camp or the season. For example, if the state of New Jersey shuts down in the middle of August or September, what will happen to the New York Jets or New York Giants? There is no answer at this point in time.

Final observations from NFLPA conference call

The call took about 45 minutes and covered a variety of topics. Everyone wants answers yesterday but due to the fluid situation, there were few concrete answers. There were no dates offered as to when camps would open or when announcements would be made as to the opening of camps.

Most interesting was the issue on the 2021 salary cap being negatively affected by a loss of revenue this season due to limited or no fans in the seats, or possible cancellation of a few games. While the NFLPA said they would negotiate this issue with the league, it seemed obvious they were preparing agents for a worst-case scenario – the significant chance the salary cap will be lower in 2021.

There is also a major concern about the remaining free agents still on the market- especially the veteran guys. Will they get signed? Can they get a fair shake?

Bottom line – everything is a work in progress and the NFLPA hopes to hammer out more details in the coming weeks.